Israel and Hamas entered into a ceasefire in June 2008, prior to the Gaza bombings that commenced on Dec 27 2008.
The effective conditions were:
– Hamas stop its firing of Q-rockets into Israel.
– Israel stop its bombardments as well as its blockade on Gaza.
The blockade on Gaza was implemented after Hamas won its election under the Palestinian Authourity in 2006 and pre-empted a show down with Fateh (which was armed by the US after the unfavourable electoral outcome).
[London Review of Books, Jan 2009: http://www.lrb.co.uk/v31/n02/sieg01_.html]
During the ceasefire (which was up for renewal on Dec 2008), Hamas limited rocket firings to 3 per month. These 3 were not from Hamas Q-Rockets (claimed 0 lives), but from rogue terrorist groups such as the Islamic Jihad. Perpetrators were detained by Hamas. According to Israeli intelligence groups, Hamas did a commendable job in exercising law and order in Gaza.
In contrast, Israel never cared to even try to lift the blockade to let in desperately needed aid:
In a Times article, by Ethan Bronner, he noted that what Hamas expected in return from the Israelis never arrived:
“But the goods shipments, while up some 25 to 30 percent and including a mix of more items, never began to approach what Hamas thought it was going to get: a return to the 500 to 600 truckloads delivered daily before the closing, including appliances, construction materials and other goods essential for life beyond mere survival. Instead, the number of trucks increased to around 90 from around 70.”
The ceasefire, before it was due for renewal in Dec2008, was broken by Israel on November 4th, 2008–election day in the United States.
Even CNN admites this: http://ca.youtube.com/watch?v=uDBiycEz12s
This was confirmed not only by every neutral international observer and NGO on the scene but by Brigadier General (Res.) Shmuel Zakai, a former commander of the IDF’s Gaza Division. In an interview in Ha’aretz on 22 December, he accused Israel’s government of having made a ‘central error’ during the tahdiyeh, the six-month period of relative truce, by failing ‘to take advantage of the calm to improve, rather than markedly worsen, the economic plight of the Palestinians of the Strip . . . When you create a tahdiyeh, and the economic pressure on the Strip continues,’ General Zakai said.” [http://www.lrb.co.uk/v31/n02/sieg01_.html]
Israel, under the false pretext of shutting down a tunnel dug by Hamas to kidnap IDF soldiers, killed 7 Hamas soldiers by intruding Gaza. Israel knew full well that Hamas will react: 100+ rockets were shot into southern Israel the next month. Israel then refused Hamas’ offer to renew the truce on conditions that aid can flow into Gaza. This was understood by Israeli intelligence, namely the head of the Shin Bet–Diskin[“Hamas Wants Better Terms for Truce,” Jerusalem Post (21 December 2008). Diskin told the Israeli cabinet that Hamas would renew the truce if Israel lifted the siege of Gaza, stopped military attacks and extended the truce to the West Bank.]
Israel knows full well that it cannot hold on to the Gaza Strip and the West Bank if the world is to know that Hamas is willing to recognize a de facto Israel under pre-June 1967 borders. This is despite Hamas having an outdated charter that calls for all of Palestine under the mandate.
How do they know this? Because of their intelligence agencies and Khalid Meshal of the Hamas Political Bureau:
“[T]he Hamas leadership has recognized that its ideological goal is not attainable and will not be in the foreseeable future,” a former Mossad head recently observed. “[T]hey are ready and willing to see the establishment of a Palestinian state in the temporary borders of 1967….They know that the moment a Palestinian state is established with their cooperation, they will be obligated to change the rules of the game: They will have to adopt a path that could lead them far from their original ideological goals.” [“What Hamas Wants,” Mideast Mirror (22 December 2008)]
“There is an opportunity to deal with this conflict in a manner different than Israel and, behind it, the U.S. is dealing with it today. There is an opportunity to achieve a Palestinian national consensus on a political program based on the 1967 borders, and this is an exceptional circumstance, in which most Palestinian forces, including Hamas, accept a state on the 1967 borders….There is also an Arab consensus on this demand, and this is a historic situation. But no one is taking advantage of this opportunity. No one is moving to cooperate with this opportunity. Even this minimum that has been accepted by the Palestinians and the Arabs has been rejected by Israel and by the U.S.”
[Mouin Rabbani, “A Hamas Perspective on the Movement’s Evolving Role: An interview with Khalid Mishal, Part II,” Journal of Palestine Studies (Summer 2008)]
Israel knows Hamas is ready to join in the peace talks. They do not like this, since the world for the past 30 yrs has agreed on a 2 state solution based on pre-June 1967 borders. The International Quartet, the Arab League and Hamas all are ready. But Israel is not: its only chance at a Zionist, Greater Israel is to exclude Hamas by labelling it as a leading terrorist organization that instigates terror by firing rockets on innocent Israelis, and preaches to wipe Israel off the face of the earth.
Its all a bunch of useless, fucking crap on the part of Israel. Call them on it as much as you can.